In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Enough, and: The Good Day, and: The Music Is Going Great in Both Directions, and: In Bed with Janet, and: Encore, and: Pleasure, and: Vandalizing My Sister’s House
  • Frannie Lindsay (bio)
  • Enough
  • Frannie Lindsay

I can almost be happy remembering my sister’s cello filling our dread-laden house

those November school nights aglare with algebra homework, my mother’s heavy china

kthunking around in the soapy sink, the dog my father hated barking too much

from his far rope length, hiss of the heat coming on, and my sister quietly closing

her bedroom door as if she knew even then she would die before we did, rosining up

the hand-hewn bow she hoped would stay in the family, then folding

her shy body over the curvy wood like a supplicant and adjusting the steel endpin

until she was tall with Bach. [End Page 140]

  • The Good Day
  • Frannie Lindsay

Today you are riding your ten-speed, the bikeway breeze on your cancery breast. It’s a good day, you love

your old Schwinn, the headwind peels your shirt back, your sparse streamers of hair fly behind you, your shadow

ravels, your legs rise and float like hawk wings over the pedals, your fists slacken and lift from the gears and brakes.

You who grew too small for your loveliness miles ago, have never been lovelier. When you close your eyes

you can watch the aspens and cloud rags race through the valley of death. Your tires could wobble, happy

forever, over the dirt and the tough little stones. [End Page 141]

  • The Music Is Going Great in Both Directions
  • Frannie Lindsay

Toward the end her uproarious prattle which all of the doctors started to call word salad meant nothing at all, but once in a while she would stop as if she had caught herself dying and thought it impolite, and take enough of a sense-starved breath to say Lord I’m struggling as if that declaration were a fragment of riverbed rock being pulled loose, and when she could barely hang on

to a phone but would not let anyone hang it up she told me I was the nicest cauliflower she’d ever played, her ravaged voice pleased as a housewife pulling her first rhubarb pie from the oven; then she stopped again, scanning that hazel-skied brain of hers, and she said the music is going great in both directions as if to reassure me, as if to be certain I’d take that straight to the bank. [End Page 142]

  • In Bed with Janet
  • Frannie Lindsay

Nothing was left for me but the gingerly climb over the side rails, parting the sheets and arranging the pillow she gave me to place on her stomach, all this through the weatherless haze of her morphine drip, so we could lie together, child to child, sister to mother and everything wearily vice versa, and hold her and stroke her hair gone silky with illness and let her touch me all over, the cello-bowing hand that had lost its deftness drooping across my breast and she asked me is this okay, is anything I am doingbothering you, and I wanted to say it was fine, her hand drained of its will across my breast was fine,

but I moved her wrist away, her palm an exhausted swimmer dragging itself onto a steep little island of health placed back in the deep lake of icy bedclothes, and she said she was sorry, my dying sister apologized for that tender, delirious gesture, so purely lustless and seeking, oh how I wanted to put her twitching palm over my nipple again, unsay my refusal and let her hold me, summon whatever solace she needed from me like milk, like simple milk. [End Page 143]

  • Encore
  • Frannie Lindsay

On the first summer night of your death I fill the kitchen with amateur cello music,

our Gables Retirement Home recital captured on warbly...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
p. 139
Launched on MUSE
2009-05-09
Open Access
No
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